SB1196 – Changes in Association Law

Effective July 1, 2010, Senate Bill 1196 has become law.  While SB1196 implemented a number of changes to Chapters 718 (condominium associations) and 720 (homeowners’ associations) of the Florida Statutes, there are several changes in particular which directly impact the answers to questions we have often received from clients:

Association Records

  1. The provisions of Chapter 617, the Florida Not For Profit Corporation Act, regarding access to corporate records are now expressly limited to not apply to condominium and homeowners associations.  (F.S. 617.1606)
  2. The scope of records containing personal identifying information has been limited from homeowner records requests.  (F.S. 720.303(5)(c)(5))
  3. A management company may assess fees for personnel usage against a homeowner making a records request of a homeowners’ association.  (F.S.720.303(5)(c))

Mortgagee Liability for Assessments

  1. A first mortgagee who acquires title to a condominium unit by foreclosure is now liable for up to 12 months of prior unpaid assessments (this was previously 6 months); liability is still however limited to the lesser of that figure or 1% of the mortgage debt.  (F.S. 718.116(1)(b))

Tenant Liability for Assessments

  1. A tenant renting a condominium unit may be subject to demand by the condominium association to pay its rent to the association if the unit owner is delinquent in its assessments.  Furthermore, the association may evict the tenant if the tenant does not comply.  (F.S. 718.116(11))

Suspension of Access to Common Elements

  1. A condominium or homeowners’ association may suspend an owner’s right to use certain common elements if the owner is more than 90 days delinquent on assessments.  As this does not restrict use of elements which provide utility service or property access, this will generally be applied to recreational facilities such as community pools.  (F.S. 718.303(3), 720.305(2))

Bulk Purchasers

  1. Certain duties of a buyer of bulk condominium units from distressed developers are now statutorily defined under the new Distressed Condominium Relief Act.  (F.S. 718.701, et seq.)

The changes enacted under this broad revision of Chapters 718 (condominium associations) and 720 (homeowners’ associations) are reflected in Laws of Florida Ch. 2010-174.

There are a number of interrelated changes, and the implications are complex.  The above bullet points are mere summaries of the changes, should not be solely relied on in evaluating your rights, and must be read and interpreted only in conjunction with the applicable statutes.  If you have any questions about the impact of SB1196 on your rights as an Condominium  Association or unit owner, a Homeowners’ Association or homeowner, mortgagee, or tenant, you should consult with a Florida real estate attorney.

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